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Tommy Ellison (K4TWE)
October 10, 2002
Where do I start? If you didn't know Tommy, you should have. If you ever met him once, you would remember him.
Tommy was my idea of the "perfect ham". Always willing to help another ham in any way he could. He went out of his way to help so many people.
Tommy was the President of the Foothills Amateur Radio Club in Pickens South Carolina, and a board member of the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Society in Greenville, SC.
In addition to holding those positions, he was very active in SkyWarn/ARES.
The thing I remember most about Tommy was that with him, nothing was impossible. If you had any doubts, he removed them. He always thought about things from more than one angle, which allowed him to accomplish the otherwise impossible.
Though Tommy was only a technician at the time of his death, (was planning on upgrading), he was far beyond that in his operating proceedures and his knowledge of all things amateur radio.
Tommy was never afraid of change. He embraced APRS when it came along, and was one of the first people to jump on the APRS bandwagon, giving demonstrations to clubs and helping others to get involved in that mode!
When IRLP came along, he considered both sides of the coin, and decided that even though he was not really interested in that, he would support it just because it was good for amateur radio.
I could go on and on all day long. I could tell you about how he risked his life to disassemble *TWO* towers for me, climbing 20 year old towers just to help a friend. I could tell you about him standing out in the cold to install a mobile system for another ham. I could tell you about him loaning anything he had to another ham, or talking for hours on the phone helping a person across town... I could literally go on for days, and I have!
Tommy was loved by so many, and disliked by very few. His leaving leaves a big hole in our hearts.
If you are lucky enough to know someone like Tommy, be sure you tell them how much they mean to you.
God bless you, Tommy. I know you are experiencing the best conditions ever!
My love goes out to Tommy's family: Gretchen / KE4HGX and Wes / KS4XQ. Two more examples of great amateur radio operators!
John / W5UGD & Deborah / KG4UPA Hoyt - Easley, South Carolina
Contributed by: John M. Hoyt (W5UGD)
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